Sunday, 31 January 2016

Is Private Cord Blood Banking Worthy?

Expecting a baby is one of the beautiful yet important phases of life. Several decisions are to be made and what to do with your newborns cord blood is just one of them. Cord blood is a precious commodity that is collected from a newborn right after birth. Being a rich source of stem cells, cord blood is currently used to treat more than 80 diseases including several forms of cancers, immune disorders, blood disorders and genetically inherited diseases to mention a few. Parents may discard it, donate it to public banks or store it in a private cord blood banking facility. Storing cord blood and tissue at private banks may cost you whereas donations are free of cost. Cord blood donated to the public bank is used either for medical research or stem cell transplants. 

Private cord blood banking have been gaining immense popularity in the recent times, as you can find its marketing pitches everywhere – at doctor’s waiting rooms, pregnancy related mobile apps, parenting magazines and more. The month of July is even considered as National Cord Blood Awareness Month. But according to the doctors, parents need to be very cautious when signing up for the private cord blood storage. Expectant parents need to think long and hard before taking an informed decision. Banking your newborns cord blood at a private bank is an expensive affair, as the processing fees can run from roughly $500 to $2,500 with the annual storage fees of $100 to $300 each year thereafter. 

Most of the parents who opt for private cord blood banking consider it as a precious resource and biological life insurance for their kid. Even though, the chances of your child benefiting from his or her own cord blood are less than 0.04 percent. This is because the cord blood contains the same cells and genetic defects that are responsible for the diseases in the first place. So, the best case is to choose private banking only if your family has a medical history of diseases currently treatable with cord blood. Talk with your doctor in order to discuss all the possibilities and take a wise decision.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Cord Blood Research Facts You Need to Know

Promising results from cord blood research have been prompting more and more parents to bank their newborn’s umbilical cord blood and tissue. As a rich source of stem cells, cord blood is currently used in several lifesaving transplants and is expected to cure more debilitating conditions in the future. Patients with leukemia, lymphoma, immune deficiencies and other inherited metabolic disorders can benefit from cord blood stem cell transplants. 

What makes cord blood so unique and valuable? Until recently, the blood present in the placenta and umbilical cord was disposed as medical waste right after the child birth. But with the discovery of the abundance of stem cell in the cord blood, things have changed. Stem cells present in the cord blood are capable of dividing and renewing themselves. Since they are unspecialized templates, these cells can be developed into specialized cells and tissues. It is their renewal property that proves beneficial in treating several life threatening conditions. During stem cell transplants, the damaged cells are destroyed and replaced with cord blood stem cells, which then replicates and produce new blood cells. 

What is cord blood banking? Collecting and storing the newborn’s cord blood for long term is known as cord blood banking. Private and public cord blood banking options are available for the expectant parents. According to researchers and scientists, cord blood holds an immense potential as a treatment for a diverse range of health conditions, such as cerebral palsy (CP), stroke, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Several clinical trials and research sessions are underway exploring the therapeutic value and applications of cord blood and cord tissue stem cells

If you are an expectant parent, then you may either decide to store your baby’s cord blood at a private bank or donate it to a public bank. A number of patients suffering from conditions like those listed above may benefit from the public stem cell donations. So, rather than waste this valuable resource, make a point to store or donate your infant’s cord blood and cord tissue.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Cord blood stem cells: Current Uses

Expectant parents have a number of major decisions to make as they prepare to welcome the new member to family. One of the big financial decisions is about banking the cord blood. If you are wondering what is cord blood, then let us explain. The umbilical cord that connects the mother to the growing fetus is cut after the birth. A small amount of blood remains in the blood vessels of the placenta and cord even after the delivery, which is termed as cord blood. In addition to the normal elements of blood (red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma), cord blood contains multipotent stem cells. These unspecialized cells with self-renewing capabilities can give rise to other cell types. However, the specialization potential of multipotent stem cells is limited to one or more cell lines. Presence of mutipotent stem cells in cord blood and cord tissues makes it life saving resource. And that is why medial communities are encouraging the expectant parents to bank or donate the cord blood rather than throwing it away. Cost of cord blood banking is worthy, especially if your family has a history of genetic disease.

Newborn’s cord blood is used for treating several life threatening disorders including several forms of leukemia, lymphoma and anemia. Hematopoietic stem cells or blood forming stem cells found in the umbilical cord blood is used as an alternative to bone marrow for transplantations. Bone marrow donation demands surgery whereas cord blood stem cell collection poses no medical risk or incisive procedures. Severe graft vs host disease (GvHD) is common with mismatched grafts of bone marrow transplants, but the chances of GvHD is less frequent and easier to treat among the cord blood transplant patients. Umbilical cord blood stem cells are used for transplants and regenerative medicine research. Scientists and experts believe that cord blood and cord tissue stem cells have the potential to revolutionize the future of medicine. 
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